An account of the new Northern Archipelago
lately discovered by the Russians in the Seas of Kamtschatka and Anadir.
London, C. Heydinger, 1774
Preceded by the German original in the same year, the English edition is augmented by the narrative of four Russian sailors who were castaway off an island of Spitzbergen. This narrative has its own title-page. The English edition served as the basis for the French edition of 1782.
'The author was Secretary to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg and a member of the Royal Society of London. In the present work he attempted to present the gradual progress of the new Russian discoveries of islands in the North Pacific, including the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak and Unalashka islands, and a number of others. Staehlin states that his compilation is based on the original reports of Russian traders who, under a convoy from the Admiralty ... spent 1764-67 exploring the North Pacific area, discovering new islands and confirming previous discoveries' (Lada-Mocarski, for the German edition). The work 'deals largely with the [Aleutian Islands and the] islands of the Bering Sea, discovered by the Promyshleniki Commercial Company on their voyages [of 1765-67] beyond Kamchatka. The work gives information on the people and wildlife of these islands. The map depicts Alaska as an island and shows routes taken by various Russian expeditions' (Hill).
The subscribers list includes Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Banks, Alexander Dalrymple, William Hunter, Constantine Phipps, and Daniel Solander.
First English edition, 8vo (21.4 x 14.4 cm), xx, 118, 2 (publisher's ads) pp., engraved folding map by Thomas Kitchin hand-coloured in outline and engraved title vignette and half title, contemporary half calf with armorial crest on the spine, neat repairs to extremities, an attractive example.
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